Tuesday, January 21, 2014

LBs coaches: Jets hire internally, Dolphins externally


Both the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins saw their respective linebackers coaches depart last week.

Brian VanGorder left Gang Green to take the defensive coordinator gig at Notre Dame, and George Edwards put Miami in his rear view mirror to assume defensive coordinator duties with the Minnesota Vikings.

There were reports that the Jets were seeking an interview with Jim Haslett of the Washington Redskins regarding their linebackers coach opening, but Jets coach Rex Ryan disputed them Monday.

New York promoted quality control assistant Bobby April III to the coaching position, which Ryan says was the plan all along.

"There is no truth to that," Ryan said regarding the Haslett rumor, via The NY Daily News. "Zero. It was a slam dunk that we were going with Bobby April."

The Dolphins, meanwhile, filled their linebackers coach void from the outside, hiring Mark Duffner, who served the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars the past eight seasons.

Miami hopes Duffner can use his 17 years of NFL experience to bolster a unit that was underwhelming in 2013 despite the organization committing a fair amount of coin to improving the position through free agency last offseason.

The Jets saw some improvement at linebacker last season but are still trying to establish a regular pass rush from the second layer of their 3-4-leaning defense.

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